Laos 2006 yellow book
(selected poems)

*
beer pig Runner
the take is on him
no ear pig eaten
at his expense

he'll heed a call
when there's no
exoneration
no last
beach resort of
uplifting idleness

wings of inactivity
lose feathers

and line the nest
of empty accounts
*

so sick, oh
I caught a glimpse
without knowing who
I hated

so much pain
a stomach distended
   or shrunk

It was my face
in the glass,
I realized

as I left, risking
soiling myself
*

don't swallows
know wening paths
that creeping soldiers
can only imagine?
*

Jolasidad
you chased away
the morning menace
   that used to
weigh down
my gait

you gave me
permission
to let what I
was be true

you call on a
resource I
have never plumbed

and you will
alwyas acknowledge
whatever
I might have
done

in the cause of
my own downfall
and rise
*

gate stands our ground
ItÕs suggested to walk through
with equanimity

the horrors of the
semi-conscious past
push forward

the promise of a
glimpse of phenomena
pulls ahead

it's suggested to
go through

and there is
   only one road
*

That Dam
that's the simple
fact
standing in the
roundabout
black and unkept

anger rises and falls away

But the wound of
self stands obvious to
all;

black and despairing
unkept and
untamable

Symbol of failed
repulsion of ivaders,
That DamÕs spire
pierces the cornice-line
for all to remember
   unwillingly
*

on the day to be fired
he put on his shirt
and pondered the practicalities
of his visa

and deeper in his thought,
his tally of formal, final
rejections climbed and
   climbed

under the weight of
heavy thoughts he
collapsed and
   found enlightenment
*

it is the gesso of living
it is the confit of desire
it is the exhultation
   of free-falling

into a white pool
below the falls

beside canvas-houses
entombing the histories
of forgeotten societies
*

tonight we'll meet
the nai-baan
and learn our task

There will be beer Lao
and traditional dancing
and tacit transactions
of some importance

and the Chief
will take us to the
board of pronouncements,
maps and
       decrees

and then ask us to
choose a paragraph
we cannot read
*

ordinary as a
herald to the stage
and cheaply outfitted

humble harlequin tripping
to the mic as
motorcycles roar past the
open door
     one
       by
         one
"Peep" he goes again
"peep bip crang"
   of English

That's the show enjoy it
*

it's a hot day promising

let the minutes collect
like sweat on the
chest
   and rise and fall
like the seaside water
that turns trips
into lives
*

sidewindmill stone
   around my middle ages
that's the sedimental
stratification of distrust
   and bad radio

Free the springs from
   the pipes
and send up the
   smoke signals

   that form universal
postcards from punishment
to atrophy

Cheerio!   At last a
final dischord to
trade in the guitar to
*

soldiers on

heros of small days
uneventful
   but full of brave
acts of folly
and foolish
   third acts

rifling and riding
through their near past
and truncated future
they nonetheless
find freedom of
face

in reflecting
on the ponds of
what they hold
precious
*

geraldiodine
your name quinine
faced the boots declined
in language refined

hopscotching about
from saint to lout
in a green-lit basement
with flowers in a boat

dragging anvils,
flapping arms
selling munitions
with conversational charms

carrying the crucifix
of Slobodan Milosevic

buried beside empty chairs
with insect fanfares
*

the Yank insisted on
pissing his script
on my party
*

there's a wind blowing
across the porch
and under me the
chair creaks
   you aren't gone yet

the sounds of insects
and sounds of melodies
in my head
   mix together
you aren't gone yet

whenever I remember
that moment I feel
as if youÕre sitting
here beside me
in the wind
touching my hand
*

Moscow/ Vientiane

under the crescent moon
his tale is rich
although he's poor
and repetitive

the convergence of
governments
   and
rivers
formed his education

and he thrilled to the
momentum of the
revolution of agriculture

Now he sits drinking
quarts with some farang
mixing four languages
and referring rudely
to
periods of time
I can only imagine
*


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© 2007 Pip Kummel